'We need 50 more paramedics', ambulance service admits

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:39 15 July 2013

Ambulance

Ambulance

Archant

FIFTY more paramedics are needed in Hertfordshire to bring the ambulance service up to scratch, an ambulance chief has admitted.

The shortfall came to light after an anonymous whistleblower revealed ambulance crews were being split up so more rapid response cars could get on the road.

“It is to the patient’s detriment,” the insider claimed.

Last Saturday, Sunday and Monday (June 29, June 30 and July 1) saw an ambulance crew split up – with just two double staffed ambulances allegedly on the road in the Welwyn Hatfield area at one point.

There are usually between four and five.

Private ambulances were drafted in to fill the gaps, a practice the trust is meant to be stopping as part of its “turnaround plan”.

The East of England Ambulance Service’s general manager for Hertfordshire, Karl Edwards, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times a recruitment drive had been launched to find 50 new paramedics.

Mr Edwards confirmed crews had been split up, but claimed the service was trying to make the most out of its resources.

“It is all about us being able to maximise our resources to put out the best possible service to patients,” he said.

“We have been very transparent about [the need for more paramedics], in our turnaround plan.

“We say we need to undertake a full high level recruitment campaign to make sure we do get enough staff going into the ambulance service to provide more sufficient cover and a better number of ambulances on the road.”

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